A tale of guts, gusto and greasepaint

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Set against the backdrop of the outbreak of WWI in 1914, Mikron Theatre Company’s new play ‘Troupers’ brings a little-known story to life - the audacious concerts which took entertainment to the troops on the front line.

The start of the war finds actor-manager Lena Ashwell with a theatre but no audience. There is a loss of appetite for frivolous pleasures and a dearth of young men. Determined to do her bit, she assembles a motley bunch of performers and books them on a tour of the battlefields of France.

Mikron, based at Marsden, near Huddersfield, has a reputation for telling the stories of ordinary people caught up in big events - always in a witty and accessible way.

Artistic director Marianne McNamara said: “By telling Lena Ashwell’s story we are telling the story of the place that the arts had, and still have, in a struggling society. ‘Troupers’ is full of guts, gusto and greasepaint.”

The cast includes Nicholas Coutu-Langmead, Jill Mayers, Esther-Grace Button and John Holt-Roberts. The play is written by Maeve Larkin with music by Rebekah Hughes.

‘Troupers’ has been on tour since May and will be performed at Square Chapel arts centre, Halifax, on Thursday, September 18 at 8pm (call 01422 349422) and Brighouse Civic Hall, as part of Brighouse Festival, on Saturday, September 20 at 7.30pm (call 01484 718324).

Brighouse Festival runs from Monday, September 15 to Saturday, September 20 and includes performances by Brighouse and Rastrick Band, the Well and Highly Strung Quartet and The Accord Singers.

Also taking part will be Talking Stock Productions, singers Jenny Stafford and Alistair Ollerenshaw, musician Barry Smith and comedian Johnnie Casson.

For full details visit www.brighousefestival.co.uk or for tickets call 01484 718324.